Northeast: Players will show Pompey pride in cup final against Southampton

Ini Umotong could be in the squad for tonight. Picture: Jordan Hampton
Ini Umotong could be in the squad for tonight. Picture: Jordan Hampton
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Perry Northeast has called on his players to show their Pompey pride in the Hampshire FA Challenge Cup final against Southampton Saints tonight.

The Blues have been the dominant force in the county in recent seasons.

But Southampton will be looking to put a stop to that at Privett Park (7.45pm).

It promises to be a cracking contest, with Northeast’s team starting as strong favourites.

But they will know they cannot take anything for granted.

The disappointing 6-3 defeat to Charlton in the league on Sunday is also still hurting.

Northeast is calling on his team to hit back with the passion that always comes with a Pompey against Southampton clash.

The Blues boss also knows it is key the players keep their cool.

He said: ‘It’s going to be a great occasion.

‘After the defeat to Charlton this is a fresh start for everybody.

‘We want the players to show how much Portsmouth means to them.

‘Being involved in a Portsmouth versus Southampton game is always something to relish.

‘I never had the chance to play in one but these players have got that opportunity.

‘They need to show professionalism – the professional attitude we have had all season in the league.

‘But we also want to see the passion, to see them show how much the shirt means to them.

‘Southampton Saints will be up for the game and we have to match their passion, if not better it.’

FA Premier League southern division title-chasers Pompey will be looking to retain the trophy they have dominated in recent seasons.

They won the final 6-0 against University of Portsmouth last season.

But Southampton have had a good season in FA Premier League south west division one, finishing in fourth place.

Pompey know it is a game they cannot take for granted – especially with the local bragging rights on the line.

Northeast is keen to see a good crowd on the night to cheer his team on as they go for glory.

He added: ‘Hopefully, there will be quite a few people there to help rally the players.

‘The Portsmouth fans have shown again this season that they are the best supporters and we want them to get behind our team.

‘It’s good we can finally look forward to the game after knowing about it for quite a long time now.

‘Our players will be ready to go out there and put in a big performance.’

Pompey hope to have striker Ini Umotong in the squad.

She scored twice against Charlton on Sunday but also suffered a fractured and dislocated finger.

However, the Nigeria international could still be in contention to play.

The Blues led 2-0 and 3-2 at Charlton, with Charley Wilson also on target, but eventually crashed to a 6-3 defeat.

That was a blow to their title hopes, however Cardiff, who started the day in top spot, were also beaten.

Brighton capitalised to head the table, while Charlton are now just five points off the lead in fourth place – with some key battles ahead.

First, though, Pompey are aiming to grab county glory once again.